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Laura Giles, LCSW

Eight Tips to Boost Your Courage

We all need courage. Courage is what takes us from where we are to heights unknown… or maybe just the next step. If you find you are lacking in courage, here are eight tips to boost your courage. Adopting just one strategy will create some change. Try incorporating more than one and see how your life expands. Acknowledge Your Courage Courage means feeling the fear and acting anyway. You are already more courageous than you know. Think of all the things you’ve done just in the past month that you’ve done that you did despite fear. It’s like the lion on the wizard of Oz. Once someone acknowledged his courage, he began to see it for himself. So see it in yourself. Pat yourself on the back. Once you know you have it,...

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Challenge the “Find Your Passion” Nonsense

If you are like me, you get a solicitation for a “Find Your Passion” workshop at least once a week. It’s a hoax to make you think that you’re missing out on something if you aren’t skipping to work and coming home with a pile of cash every day. These types of myths are responsible for so much misery. They feed people two lies: 1) Everyone can make lots of money doing what they love and 2) Anyone can be happy if they just figure out what they are here to do. To that I say it’s time to challenge the “Find Your Passion” nonsense. All Work Has Value The “Find Your Passion” programs usually promise that you can do whatever you want and make tons of money doing it. This can...

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How to Develop Connection

When I was a dance teacher, I focused on teaching dance as a performance art. My students danced both as soloists and as an ensemble. One day while practicing a group number a student said, “I’ll just practice at home. I mean, it’s this same thing as dancing alone.” Whoa. I thought, “If that’s what she thinks, I have failed as a teacher.” Unfortunately, this type of thinking is common now. I am not sure why it’s happening – maybe it’s because of the perpetual face in the iPhone instead of actually interacting with other people. Whatever the reason, lots of people don’t feel connected and don’t know how to connect. They occupy the same space at the same time, and may even interact while doing it, but they aren’t connected....

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Rearing Healthy Children

It's more and more common for me to see adults whose often well meaning parents just killed their spirits. These little people don’t get to grow up to be healthy big people. If I had a dollar for every potential client who tells me a childhood story of how their child self was killed, I’d be a millionaire. We need to stop murdering our children. Carl Jung first popularized the idea of archetypes. Archetypes are these human energies that exist in all cultures throughout time. We all either experience them directly or indirectly. He said that we all start out life as the Child. This is the light hearted, creative, innocent side of us that needs to stay alive inside of us throughout life so that we maintain connection to our inner...

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Boiling Mad? Schedule an Anger Date

When it comes to anger, there seems to be two types of people who get all the attention- those who have no problems spewing anger everywhere and those who feel it’s best to never display anger. I have a suggestion for the second group – schedule an anger date.  What’s an Anger Date? An anger date is a scheduled period of time where you talk about in all the things that make you angry. You could do this alone, with another person, or with a crowd of people. However many are participating, you just let it rip. Yell, scream, cry, be demonstrative. The only restrictions are that you can’t hurt yourself or anyone else, you can’t take your anger out on anyone else, and you must stop when the time is up.  Let’s...

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What’s Your Mental Diet Like?

We hear a lot about how important our diet is. We are encouraged to eat clean, reduce sugar, and eat in moderation. Most of us know the benefits of watching our diet, but what about our mental diet? How much attention do you pay to what your mind consumes? What are you feeding your brain? What Are You Watching? How much television do you consume? Is it uplifting programming? How much nudity, negative language, and violence do you consume? Do you feel keyed up, fearful, or negative afterward? Are you learning anything from what you view? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself. The answers can be used to shape your mental diet. Remember, you are what you consume. In this case, it’s what you’re watching. If you watch  lot of violence, it’s easier...

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Argue for Your Limitations and They Are Yours

Have you ever said, “I can’t because…” the economy is badmy boss doesn’t like memy parents were mentally illI’m too (insert adjective such as short, tall, young, old, etc).my mom didn’t love memy dad was an alcoholicI’m not (insert adjective like good, smart, worthy, or clever) enough “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.” ~Richard Bach Your mindset is powerful! If your self talk is repeatedly reinforcing your limitations, you will continue to be limited. You are the most powerful part of any change work, so if you aren’t open to a new possibility, it can’t happen. Belief and expectation are powerful. When we believe and expect that nothing will change, nothing changes. If we are open to the idea of change, the door opens. Let’s look at what I mean.“Sheila”...

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How to Make Every Date a Success

There is one thing you need to make every date a success. It’s not manners, grooming, a hot body, timeliness, nice clothes, or straight teeth. It’s authenticity. Here is how this can help. You Know Right Away Whether or Not it’s Clicking If you are focused on authenticity vs. “Does she like me?”, you are going to be more present in your body. So, it’s not about whether someone likes you, but whether it’s a match for both of you. Your body will tell you if you’re digging the other person. Your body will also tell you if they like you. There is no guessing if you’re present. This is a great time saver. If you eliminate people who are not a great match on the first date, that’s a success! You...

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Are You Vulnerable to An Affair?

Are you vulnerable to an affair? Any relationship can suffer from infidelity, but there are some factors that make cheating more likely. Let’s take a look at what they are. Marriage vs. Cohabitating Did you know that a study by Pepper Schwartz and Philip Blumstein showed that long term married people are less likely to cheat than long term cohabitating couples? That’s right. The saying that marriage is just a piece of paper isn’t all that accurate. Those who value trust and commitment are less likely to violate their values. When there is no commitment ritual, there may be no emotional commitment either. Does One of You Deal with Stress Through Sex? If one of the people in a partnership deals with stress through sex, this could spell trouble. Perhaps this is where the...

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I Didn’t Sign Up For This!

There may be times in our lives when we throw up our hands and say, “I didn’t sign on for this!” It’s normal to have a pity party when things don’t go as planned. When the pouting is done, there are three things you can do. Deal with it anyway, walk away, or blame and complain. So what types of things can make us say, “I didn’t sign up for this”? Here are some examples. your child is born with special needsyour partner leaves youdomestic violenceyou or your partner contracts a debilitating illnessyou or your partner gains a lot of weightnatural disaster strikesyou get firedyou or your partner has a mental breakdowninfidelityyou or your partner goes to jailaddiction Nobody willingly signs up for these things. They may or may not be a result...

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